15 reasons why most single mums prefer to not get married
08 August 2016, 12:10
Single parenthood is tough. There's no denying that at times it can be exhausting doing it all by yourself. And when it's just you up in the night, worrying about a poor child, it can feel really lonely. It doesn't help that single parents get such bad press either. We only ever hear about the tough times and the bad bits. But there are good times, too.
Single parents do an amazing job. Here are 15 reasons why being a single parent can really rock:
1. You get loads of cuddles. With no one else competing for your attention at night, you can read stories to them for as long as you want and even fall asleep in their room. You are a little team of two (or three or more) and have a close bond that feels unbreakable.
2. You can cook whatever you want. Beans on toast or a roast dinner - you decide. Want to leave the dishes until the morning? That's your call too.
3. You have total control over the household budget. No more leakage of money. If you're short at the end of the month, you know why. Yes - money may be tight but you have a total handle on what comes in and what goes out. If your budget is squeezed, you also find creative ways to make ends meet and still have fun.
4. You can make the kids help you shop, tidy and clean, guilt-free. When it's only you and them, they understand that they have to pitch in and help. They learn about working as a team and how you can all make things easier by helping each other out.
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5. It's really easy to enforce punishments. If you say no sweets before dinner, they can't go try and wheedle it out of the other parent. No more clashing over parenting styles makes for a simpler life.
6. There's no one else to blame. If the house is messy, it's because you haven't found time to tidy. If there's no milk in the fridge, it's because you forgot. It's so much more harmonious when there's no one else to shout at...
7. On the weekend, you get to choose the activities. No negotiations or arguments. You pack up the kids, jump on the bus/car/bikes, and go. Sometimes the BEST times are the ones you didn't plan (because you didn't have to).
8. Once you find other single-mum friends, you get to hang out with them for as long as you like. There is no negotiating with partners. If you want to throw an impromptu pizza night and have them all sleep over, you do. Easy as that. Oh - and the single parent friends you meet - they often become like family too.
9. If they go to their dad's/mum's for a weekend, you have a whole two nights to yourself. And while you may not know what to do with it in the beginning (and spend it sleeping or cleaning the house), you soon learn to plan things in advance, and (gasp!) even get together with single friends you haven't seen in ages.
10. Family members offer to take the kids. Especially if you're working during the school holidays, you get offers to have your kids come stay. Then, once you've got over the empty-home feeling, you realise you don't have to go straight home after work. Then the fun really begins...! You find support that really helps and find you build up your own little extended family that makes it all more bearable.
11. You can watch whatever telly you want. When the kids have gone to bed, the controller is 100% under your control. And you discover all kinds of programmes you never even knew existed. And you can watch them all guilt-free.
12. You can unanimously decide to do movie nights. Throw all the pillows and duvets on the settee, some popcorn and ice cream, and snuggle. Mmmmmmm.....
13. You work really, really hard, but when you do get time to relax, it feels amazing Yes - it's hard work and yes you get less time to catch your breath but when you do, you sure as hell appreciate every minute.
14. You start to feel stronger It's really tough, you might shout at the kids when you're at the end of your tether and there are times when you think you're not going to make it through, but you do. You always do. You're also faced with loads of new challenges ('Can I really take the kids abroad on my own?', 'How on earth will I cope when my child is really poorly and it's just me?')...Whenever you get through them you feel all the stronger (and braver) for doing so.
15. You learn to take hard decisions About work. About custody. About school. About discipline. There's no one else to make them. You have to, and over time you become a different person. Then one day you see yourself, and realise that while you weren't looking, somewhere along the line, you became a really strong, independent person. And that feels pretty amazing.
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